Thursday, January 9, 2020

the death march

one foot in front of the other
day after grueling day
my time marches behind me with a gun to my back
looming larger and larger
as we all walk towards the abyss

billions and billions of us marching together
each desperately clutching at whatever nourishment presents itself
some shove others out of the way, or ride on their backs
some hold out helping hands and lend their shoulders for support
and some just shrug their shoulders, and lie down

while falling is inevitable
how we march in the face of its inevitability expresses our truest selves

when we have time to look up, the views can be incredible
when we connect, our love makes everything worthwhile

but my dreams feel like someone small standing before a massive wall

i wake up each morning to the sound of the beating drums of the times
the thudding of my heart in my ears as i try to watch my footing and escape my worries about the future
live my gratitude, because acknowledging it is not enough
never enough
just like everything else

being in control of our destiny isn't necessary for a good life
but having a sense of control is crucial
as i find myself compulsively putting one foot in front of the other
watching myself drag my feet

i think
"i need to learn to dance".

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

amateur origami


my take on the tragedy of the titan cronos eating his children is that it's less of a lesson on how time devours whatever time produces, and is more about how one's intentions can be so misconstrued that the only version of that story that has survived is the one in which he does so out of fear
and not love
for my little boy has taught me just how difficult it can be to hold back from dislocating my own jaw in order to swallow his cuteness whole
when he's unhappy, his squeals and shrieks shatter my heart and scatter the shards but his smiles
and the sound of his little voice box engine starting
and the feeling of his little hands gripping me tight as our breaths squeeze his chest into mine
these melt and draw those scattered heart shards right back together again
each time reforming a little larger than before

we dance along together to his sheer delight, his joyous little jazz hands clench into vices holding on for dear life
every first moment that his curious eyes lock on to mine i am mise en abyme
absorbed by my reflection's reflection
in the mirror of his face i see my two greatest loves and our future stares back with a sublime wisdom that i cannot comprehend
stares straight through me with an intensity against which i cannot - and will not - defend
we have planted a tree of life with its fractal branches spiraling into infinities
heavily laden with the fruits of what-ifs and could-bes
and each tastes of dizzying, endless possibilities

but all of our fantasies of how we wish for him to be fall subject to the fact that we have as much control over the direction of his soul as of the earth's revolutions around our sun
that our influence over him will be primarily due to what we do and have done
and that each reflex, each utterance chooses paths and closes doors
even since long before his eyes were first able to perceive us

every moment of his life is an origami fold over hot coals
we're trying to construct a phoenix without ever actually having seen one

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

the kid that would not sleep

(based on Metallica's The Thing That Should Not Be)

parents' fear is gripping tight
terror as they kill the light

hyper child begins to see
an opportunity to roam free

fearless wretch
he watches
lurking and trolling me
he sneaks to a
forbidden site
he searches
hunter in the shadows is rising
in madness you dwell

crawling chaos, on the ground
yelp a tiny, twisted sound

out from blankets, now possessed
feels no pity, out of breath

fearless wretch
he watches
lurking and trolling me
priceless sleep
has been upset
he awakens
hunter in the shadows is rising
in madness you dwell
in madness you dwell

overtired but will not lie
endless nights may make you cry

drain you of your sanity
face the kid that would not sleep

fearless wretch
he watches
lurking and trolling me
he sneaks to a
forbidden site
he searches
hunter in the shadows is rising
in madness you dwell

Saturday, July 8, 2017

i take our love for granted

i take our love for granted

if i didn't love you
if i wasn't committed to you
committed to our private asylum
i would have walked a long time ago

and so would you
so i take our love for granted

on our good days
when we're two giddy teenagers fighting over who loves who more
fighting over who gets to hold our son, basking in delight on the days he picks me over you
basking in small corners of old buildings in the rays of the sun reflecting off snow lined window frames reflecting off of slick skin bonded with ancient magic and taut with the ecstasy of two halves becoming whole and beginning to heal

your gifts to me and mine to you

and on our dark days
when bruises and scratches cover our hearts and the floor is slick with spent lives
lives spent in cold forests on dark moons where aliens convinced us that we were alone in the universe
that our lives didn't matter
and couldn't matter
while they brutally tore into our cores
seeking to destroy the engines that would take us home but failing to find them:
our technologies so different that they could not identify their true targets

so our power remained even as our skins were ripped away
and whether raw or covered in spikes and steel i see you
i see you see me
i see us see our history and i take our love for granted

but never you
i never take you for granted

Sunday, June 4, 2017

the track

my life is full of joys and success
and i am hyper aware of just how much i am blessed
deep down in my core i am truly grateful
but here on the sun-kissed surface of my soul i am dispirited, depressed
by every traumatic event
by next month's unpaid rent, by every abuse, by every betrayal, by every injustice, by every bend in the trail that was almost a break

we're told that depression is a chemical imbalance
a physiological malfunction
but the truth is that depression is a psychological symptom, not a physical cause
perhaps it's "pessimism writ large", or else just "optimism overwritten"
i've recently learned how my years of ptsd and burnout are doing the same sort of long-term damage to my frontal lobe as psychiatric medication
only without the benefits
that my personality has been gradually decomposing into a downward spiral stairway through the gates of hell
and as i circle around and around i see every interaction's intention as its dark timeline alternative,
i see threats in every attempt to bridge the gaps that have grown steadily between the orbits of our island soul galaxies
i wrap my anxieties around my sense of self's instabilities like a warm, electrifying blanket that makes my blood boil and keeps the cool, fresh air at bay,
that makes me stare at sunsets then quickly turn away before i have a chance to let the beauty stray to touch my heart and linger
that makes every smile fade too fast because it feels too good to be true so i overthink it away

but i do remember how to laugh sometimes, and not just nervously
and i do remember how to scan event horizons for the capsules of goodness that have been frozen in time
i remember how to identify constellations in the tiny pinpricks of light that take eons to get through my dark nights and know that this lonely rock i'm standing on is just one drop in an infinite sea of misery
that we've all hit rot bottom collectively
and that our only hope is to remember that we didn't choose to be born in a world of outsiders and aliens while our ancestors' stories echo in our ears telling lovely lies about the old worlds, smaller, manageable worlds where life was simpler and people had character and words like "better" and "happiness" actually meant something
before we ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and woke up to see that we're a shame of cowardly lions scavenging the ruins of a paradise overrun by flying monkeys and small men hiding behind loud voices

that we're heroes-in-training
without swords
without shields
without training

because nobody ever taught us how to defend ourselves
or even that we *could* defend ourselves
instead we've been raised to shackle ourselves in the miseries of our forefathers,
raised to repeat their mistakes by raising the stakes that our very lives are riding on,
raised to space out repeatedly tugging on the sleeves of one-armed bandits
begging for the money to pay overdue fees for our borrowed sins
but this house of god is just another casino where the house always wins

on my black days, with my grey underbelly of bloated clouds threatening a shitstorm and heavy with acid indigestion rain
with the leaden thump of my charcoal heart pumping polluted fumes into the rivers of toxic sludge coursing through my veins
my body is merely a reflection of the outside, a world overpopulated with slaves to the cold and the cruel while we fuel the machines of our self-destruction with our desperate self-absorption
panicking our way from paycheque to paycheque

in our spare change time we build ourselves shrines and we tend to our tiny fenced-off gardens
we seek to find like-minded others to invite into our homes
but every time someone new trails crap onto our carpet we become just a little bit more disheartened
we learn not to trust or take chances
we become shut-ins finding fortitude in isolation because it's the only possible way to maintain control of a social situation

keeping our own company because internal battles don't give black eyes
only black hearts

but this is the end
beautiful friend
i hear the alarm and i pull myself out of bed
i drink my drug to wake up and face the mourning
i spend dawn to dusk panning for the missed gold and precious stones that didn't wash up on the wall street banks of debt river
i spend long hours thinking upon simpler times
when we didn't matter
when our feelings didn't matter
when we denied and drank away our pain just to get through each day
when suicide was a crime against god because it robbed the lord of his pay
and how we've still got one foot standing in that grave

but i have to say that in spite of all this i am grateful

i may be tied to the tracks and only questionably sane
but the only way we may be able to save ourselves is if we can see the oncoming train

Sunday, March 20, 2016

the testament

long before our father died, the four us had already received our inheritance
we wouldn't need to find a lawyer because one had been provided for
almost by coincidence

to me he left one share of his single-mindedness
one share of the passion that goes with it
one share of his violence
one share of his fighting spirit
and the faintest glimmer of his gift of gab

to our eldest he left one share of his drive
one share of his salesmanship
the full share of his insecurities
and one share of his instinct to survive

to our younger sister
he left one share of his violence,
the full share of his madness,
and more of his rage than all four of us combined could ever have contained

and to you, my brother,
our advocate and the self-appointed manager of his estate
he left one share of his salesmanship
the full share of his craftiness
the full share of his miserliness,
the meanness of spirit by which to appropriate all four shares of his means
the full share of the cognitive dissonance required to maintain a self-righteous disposition
and its complementary share of judgemental hypocrisy
one share of his isolation
and the full share of his capacity to transform family into strangers

dear brother
you are a vulture who literally left his own mother to rot
but though you wear our peacock feathers that you plucked
you know
just as we see
that they will never fit

Friday, May 29, 2015

good mourning

last night you left us
and as with everything
you did so kindly
and gently
and with good grace

soon your ashes will be scattered on the shores that we called home
to be lifted on a sea breeze
to settle softly on the mountaintop
forming another layer of our history that we will look to for inspiration

this mourning i remember
with a heart filled with love
with joyful laughter and sad fondness
this mourning i know that everything i ever knew about you will never change
everything i ever felt and loved about you will never change
everything i ever learned from you will never change
this mourning i pick and choose my memories that will become my monument to you

your ashes will be scattered on the shores that we called home
while your essence crystallizes in the oceans of my soul
you will be rewarded
you will be happy
you will be at peace
you will receive your long over-dues

and you will watch over me
just like you always do